If you're thinking about developing a marketing program, you need to begin with a marketing plan.Some have a support objective, reassuring a lender about risk, usually with assets.My favorite business plans are about managing: starting and growing a company.Collect, organize, and write down data about the market that is currently buying the product(s) or service(s) you will sell. Successful marketers continually review the status of their campaigns against their set objectives.This ensures ongoing improvements to your marketing initiatives and helps with future planning.A plan that might be great at selling the company might be bad at supporting a loan application, or for managing a company.So point one, what makes a good business plan, is that it fits the business need. At this point it’s hard to avoid going into branches.The irony is that many of the expensive marketing plans end up on a shelf and rarely get implemented.The simple plans, if researched and implemented effectively, have the greatest impact.I’m going to resist the temptation to write about what people look for in investment-related plans, and then the plan for lenders, or the operational plan. Factors like readability and ease of navigation and covering all the main points depend a lot on whether those qualities affect achieving the plan’s business objective. The second measure of good or bad in a business plan is realism.So it’s entirely possible to have an excellent business plan that’s never been printed, that isn’t edited, that contains only cryptic bullet points that only the internal management team understands. You don’t get points for ideas that can’t be implemented.